Pheasant Valley Preserve in Whitman County became Washington's first licensed game-bird shooting preserve in 1967. Since then, the Wiedrich family has raised pheasants to release for hunters on 400 acres of irrigated bottomland along the Palouse River. In the 1990s, the preserve also set up a challenging sporting clays course, adding to the fun of hunters and shooters who reserve visits by the day or buy annual memberships. Clients who want to stay overnight at Pheasant Valley Preserve can stay in the farm house, which was built shortly after the family homesteaded the area in 1902. The preserve is situated at the end of Wiedrich Road eight miles north of LaCrosse, Wash. These photos follow Dan Hoke, a Cheney-area bird-dog trainer and expert sporting clays shooter, as he scopes out the hunting and shooting opportunities with outdoors editor Rich Landers.
Farms along the Palouse River are well-known for producing bumper crops of wild game birds, but for nearly half a century, Pheasant Valley Preserve has taken bird hunting to a different level. The farm is Washington’s oldest licensed game-bird shooting preserve. While most of the 1,300 acres are devoted to farming or grazing, 400 acres of irrigated river bottomland is seeded with some of the 6,500 pheasants being raised this year in huge netted pens.
Hot, dry weather is hard on dogs, which is why hunters must give special attention to their dogs during early bird-hunting seasons. Based on years of experience, Dan Hoke, veteran dog trainer from Dunfur Kennel near Cheney, offered these tips: • Trim toenails. Don’t let them get long and break off.